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Read Alex Rosenblatt's interview with Owen Plotkin; founder of Hungrr,LLC., from 2006:
What do you believe are the root causes of hunger
and food insecurity in America?
Illiteracy. Poor public education. Loss of manufacturing
jobs in the US. Low minimum wages in most states.
Food stamp rules and application requirements that are
too complicated for many uneducated, elderly and physically
challenged individuals. The general public's lack of awareness
of the facts surrounding hunger in America. An unwillingness
on the part of politicians and corporations to acknowledge
the facts surrounding hunger in America. And sadly,
unrealistic yet rampant materialism, corporate greed
and a growing meanness in our culture.
Does the term food insecurity differ from hunger
and if so, how?
"Food insecurity" includes hunger and the specter
of impending hunger, but the term is also used by
the current administration to remove the politically
dangerous word "hunger" from the discussion of poverty
in America. What part of the population would you say
is most vulnerable to food insecurity or poverty?
Low income workers and their children, single parent
households, minorities, the elderly, physically challenged
and disabled people.
Hunger in America does not manifest it self in the
same way as it does in other nations (distended bellies
and starvation). Is it as a serious of a problem?
It is not about starvation. Sadly, the problem is often
hidden malnutrition, and that especially effects children,
their normal development and ability to learn. There is the
problem of obesity caused by people filling up on cheap
junk and fast foods rather than eating more expensive healthy
foods including fruits and vegetables. It is very serious
because of the growing disparity between the rich and the
poor and the disappearing middle class in this, the richest
nation on Earth.
Do you believe that U.S. food assistance programs such as
food stamps and the school breakfast program are effective
at abating hunger?
Every little bit helps. Weekend and summer programs
- where available - help too.
Are food banks effective at abating hunger?
Yes, but there is a growing need for assistance.
Some people say that food banks create a situation
of dependency do you think that this is possible?
I think it is much more likely that a lack manufacturing jobs,
career opportunities, training and adequate public education
in poorer urban and rural areas, create real need.